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New data on Alzheimer's in Oklahoma and who can help

Posted at 8:19 PM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-17 08:15:48-04

TULSA, Okla. — The Alzheimer's Association released new numbers on those suffering from the disease, and there’s a new push to educate people on the early signs of the illness.

Herb Magley cared for his wife Gail for 11 years before she passed away from Alzheimer's six years ago. He said they first noticed her symptoms when she was 52 years old, but it took two years before she was officially diagnosed.

Magley became Gail's caregiver. Two years into her diagnosis, he finally found help through the Alzheimer's Association of Oklahoma.

“For me that was the life saving part of this disease, getting to be able to talk to someone who knew what we were going through," he said.

As the 65 and older population grows, the Alzheimer’s Association expects the number of people living with the disease will jump from 5 million to 13 million by 2050.

Sandi Pellow, executive director for Oklahoma’s chapter, said there’s a new push to further educate the public and physicians about “mild cognitive impairment” or MCI. The condition has symptoms that mirror that of early onset Alzheimers.

“The key is catching it early. It’s critical. So we want to make sure our physicians and clinicians know about what to look for and just remind them,” Pellow said.

Magley is now working with the association to help educate the public on the illness, specifically caregiving. Magley composed a list of 25 rules for caring for someone with Alzheimer's. It has been reviewed by doctors and caregivers across the country.

To learn more about Alzheimer's Association in Oklahoma, CLICK HERE. Their 24-hour hotline is: (800) 272-3900.

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